Chickpea ‘Principe’ – Cicer arietinum.
Chickpeas make very attractive plants, with feathery foliage and pretty veined flowers, followed by pods containing two fresh chickpeas which can be used in a variety of Tuscan recipes.
Try Tuscan soup with chick peas, chopped tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.
Chick peas give a distinctive nutty flavour to minestrone and curries too, and are an essential ingredient of hummus.
Chick peas dry brilliantly for use during the winter months, and the quality of your home-grown chickpeas will often be far superior to the canned ones you can buy.
Annual: choose a sunny position in the garden. Sow 2 cm deep in seed compost under cover in early spring to get a head start or sow direct outside from late spring to early summer so they pop up after the risk of frost has past.
Make sure to grow them in well-prepared, well weeded composted ground as they like a bit of moisture in the soil.
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